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Published: 23 Aug 2018

After nearly 30 years of providing hospitality to visitors, local residents and the wider Cathedral community, Mick and Lesley Blakey have made the decision to retire from The Almonry and enjoy a slower pace of life. Both of them join the ranks of the Cathedral's longest serving employees. Lesley joined the Cathedral team in 1989 providing lunches and teas in the Refectory Café, and was joined by Mick less than a year later. It was not long before Mick and Lesley were given The Almonry to manage offering great hospitality whilst building a successful business to help raise much needed funds to support the day to day operations at Ely Cathedral.

Over the years Mick and Lesley have been instrumental in The Almonry becoming the successful tea room and restaurant it is today with its excellent reputation for locally sourced, home cooked food. The menu is particularly well known for Lesley's speciality home-made puddings - the lemon meringue pie or warm treacle tart, with Lesley's own recipe vanilla custard, have become legendary. Not forgetting of course, The Almonry's reputation for scones which are freshly baked every morning by Lesley or one of the team - rough estimates speculate that well over a million scones have been served during their 29 year residency!

Both Mick and Lesley will be sorely missed but, like all good restaurateurs, they have not only created a great business but have also built up a very talented team to hand over the reins to, who are equally dedicated to holding onto the reputation they have helped build alongside Mick and Lesley over the years.

The entire Cathedral community wish Mick and Lesley all the very best.